Last Saturday, while trying to locate a Big Lots Store that had twin sized mattresses on sale, I needed one for my spare bedroom, I happened to pass not one but three places where I had formerly worked.
It got me thinking about the constant struggled I’d endured over the past three decades to stay employed. Work for me, had been and still is to some degree, quite literally, a four letter word. If you need any proof of that, all you have to do is read either of my posts, Bad Thoughts and Fear.
So, I thought I’d list a few of my most memorable jobs. Not all of the jobs I’ve had over the years are listed here. Some, while I can’t remember the name of the companies, I do remember what happened there.
For instance, there was that job on Lake Street in Oak Park where, when I left my desk to go to the copier, leaving my forty dollar earrings on the desk and coming back and finding them gone. And when I complained about it, was promptly fired. Live and learn. From that job, I learned not to wear my best jewelry to work.
Here is my list:
Oak Park Arms Hotel (1972. (It was my first real job. I’d held summer jobs all during high school. I worked as a maid because I was a High School dropout and my self esteem at the time was so low, it was a miracle that I was able to get even that job.)
Florshiem Shoes (After going back to school, Triton College, I was able to find work in the factory office as an administrative assistant to the warehouse manager. His name was Dale. More details on this job are given in the book, STALKED!)
Helene Curtis (I worked, and really, really hard for two of the sweetest guys I’ve ever met. I remember they were arguing, the day they fired me. One kept saying, “We should take it higher.” And the other said, “They are the ones who want her out of here. They’re afraid ‘they’ will give away of our secrets.” I felt sorrier for them, that day, than for me. In the six months I’d worked there, I’d never seen them argue.)
Zeinth Corporation (Two years. I worked there WOW! I had my one and only relationship while at Zenith. And, of course, I was fired. I was never given a reason for being fired from Zeinth. I was just told to leave.
On the bus ride home, I remember seeing the older woman from my nightmares. She was driving a pale blue Ford. When I got off the bus, she offered me a ride home. I ran!)
Associates Leasing Corporation Here, I was accused of having a crush on an upper-level executive and stalking him. Only problem, I had no idea who the man was and had to ask his secretary to point him out.
St. Regis Paper Company (It was temp job thru Kelly Girl and the trauma I suffered at St. Regis was so humiliating, that I left Chicago because of it. This little taste of hell is also detailed in the book, STALKED!)
Exxon Company, U.S.A. (New Orleans, LA.) October, 1981 thru February, 1991. Ten years of no voices. Ten years of peace in my head until the Exxon Valedez). Corporate secrets.
JR Walker (Here I can honestly say I got myself fired. I thought I was hired as a secretary and as it turned out, I was just there so The Stalkers/The Voices could scream and belittle me. When I tried doing something besides just sitting there, I was promptly fired.
After JR Walker, I decided to take my 401k money from Exxon and have a spending free and good time because I knew The Stalkers/The Voices had ten years of pent-up rage to release and because of that, I had absolutely no chance of finding another job in New Orleans. I figured my chances would be better in Chicago.
Apex Automotive (Northlake Illinois) Eight years December 1991 until June 1999. I was fired because my fellow employees stated to the new managers, who took over the place in 1999, that they were tired of listening to the screaming.
Albertsons’ Store Debt Recovery (Jewel.Osco) February 14, 2000 until April 1, 2001. (Did you get that end date? In terms of how I was treated at Albertsons’, let me say, it was hell on earth. And, in all ways that count, was worse than St. Regis Paper Company. But I was learning to stand my ground.
Albertsons’ only saving grace was the exit interview. It changed everything. In it, their Risk Management officer asked me two questions. First question, “You’ve gone to several psychiatrists haven’t you?” I answered, yes. And he said, “I’ll bet that didn’t help did it?” I said, no. The Human Resources Manager conducting the interview abruptly ended it.)
PepsiCo (It was too good to be true. Great offices, great benefits, and free parking. I lasted a week! I told myself it was only a temp job after all. That was supposed to last six weeks – the regular clerk was on maternity leave — with a shot at a permanent spot.)
Central DuPage Hospital is located in DuPage County known far and wide for its traffic police. I worked the afternoon and night shifts in the Telecommunications Department.
I had run out of unemployment compensation when I found this little gem. I owned a 1997 Ford Aspire, white with gray interior purchased for $15,000.00 and I was $2,000.00 away from paying it off completely when I was pulled over on my way home from the hospital and my car was towed for a fraudulent license plate sticker. I spent the night in jail and never saw my car again.
I found out in 2007 that someone had called in a report that I was selling drugs from my car. I found out because The stalkers/The Voices, tried using the same tactic a second time. A search of the old Ford Taurus I was driving in 2007 turned up no drugs and the officer’s captain was outraged that he had to ‘do all that paperwork’ for nothing.
Manpower, Inc. (Catching the bus)
Mexcalux (Very nice very gracious. The stalkers/The Voices version of my life clashed with the owner’s very old world morality and I was out on my ear. I wasn’t too upset, though. It was a real bitch getting back and forth to work on the bus.)
US Filter (Three months of filing. Never had a chance of it becoming anything more.)
Ameritech (Hooray for corporate policy and rules. I lasted the entire assignment of 16 months due to their policy of fairness in the workplace.
Peerless, Inc. (Peerless was, wonderful, beautiful, stressful, a lot of work, I had never worked for a television mounting company before and there were a lot of specs to be learned. I thought I was doing OK until the morning my replacement walked in and introduced herself and asked, “Is this where I’ll be working?” The office manager came over a few minutes later and asked me to clear out my e-mails before leaving.
Focus Property Management (Great people great job but no money.)
HSBC (A repeat of St. Regis and Albertsons’ with a daily work quota!)
Keane, Inc. (Again, never had a chance.)
Focus Property Management (I went back after the job at Keane, Inc. fell through. Still not enough money. But not enough money is better than no money.)
Faith Home Healthcare (It was a chance to get my foot in the door of the healthcare field.).
What else is there to say! Except, somebody owes me a 1997 white Ford Aspire in mint condition and about three million dollars in lost revenue and compensation.
Anybody out there know a good lawyer.